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Old 08-23-2016, 08:11 AM   #1
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Dill pickles and Dill weed questions..

Hey all. I tried to post a question similar to this the other day, but I don't think it posted, so here goes again.

I've made pickled beets, and bread and butter pickles with great success, but have never made dill pickles. I did help a long time ago once, but never paid attention to all the details.

First up.. The dill weed. Some folks say use that flower head, some say the fern stuff, but I'm lost. I have dill in the garden and some if the heads are starting to go yellowish brown. Does that mean its not usable anymore? I've looked for hours for some sort of video on someone using the plan in their pickles so I could actually SEE what they were doing vs trying to figure out what someone was writing, and actually doing what they meant. I'm a hands on, visual kind of girl.

I'm looking to make pickles that have lots of dill flavor with garlic, mabey a few spicy jars, but most of all, I want them to be wicked good.

I've seen recipies that say use the 7% vinegar and some that say use 5%. What would the difference be?? Can you put whole peppercorns in along with the garlic and dill or add habanero, or do you have to change things up to add anything but a cuke?

Any thoughts or ideas I would be lucky enough to get from those who successfully make pickles, would be so good.

thanks bunches!

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Old 08-23-2016, 09:59 AM   #2
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You typically use the flower heads from the dill plant. They are much more strongly flavored than the fronds. I normally put a couple in each quart jar. As to whether it's too far gone or not, just give them a sniff. If they are still giving off a nice strong dill scent, they're usable.

You can certainly change up the seasonings you add. Use whole spices, including peppercorns. I would caution against too many hot peppers, unless you really like them. I like them myself, but sometimes the pickles I've made have been too spicy for family and friends, and I'll also add that they'll continue to get hotter and hotter over time.

5% vinegar is perfectly fine. Most recipes I've used call for a 50:50 water to vinegar ratio.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:02 PM   #3
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I made the mistake of using the fronds and not the heads, so I'll tell you why you shouldn't do it that way. When you open the pickles the fronds have gone to a grassy limp mess, and they have to be picked off before you get to the pickles. It tastes fine and it looks lousy. People in general also don't like the server to 'handle' the pickles before they eat them, but you really must remove the grassy limp mess.
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Old 08-23-2016, 12:14 PM   #4
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Dill pickles and Dill weed questions..

When I've run out of dill heads, I've used just the dried dill seeds I had on hand. I also use 5% vinegar.
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Old 08-23-2016, 01:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debora Cadene View Post
Hey all. I tried to post a question similar to this the other day, but I don't think it posted, so here goes again.

I've made pickled beets, and bread and butter pickles with great success, but have never made dill pickles. I did help a long time ago once, but never paid attention to all the details.

First up.. The dill weed. Some folks say use that flower head, some say the fern stuff, but I'm lost. I have dill in the garden and some if the heads are starting to go yellowish brown. Does that mean its not usable anymore? I've looked for hours for some sort of video on someone using the plan in their pickles so I could actually SEE what they were doing vs trying to figure out what someone was writing, and actually doing what they meant. I'm a hands on, visual kind of girl.

I'm looking to make pickles that have lots of dill flavor with garlic, mabey a few spicy jars, but most of all, I want them to be wicked good.

I've seen recipies that say use the 7% vinegar and some that say use 5%. What would the difference be?? Can you put whole peppercorns in along with the garlic and dill or add habanero, or do you have to change things up to add anything but a cuke?

Any thoughts or ideas I would be lucky enough to get from those who successfully make pickles, would be so good.

thanks bunches!
5% acidity is generally said to be the minimum when pickling veg, etc., to keep. 7% would be even better although the malt vinegar sold particularly for pickling in the UK (Sarson's) is 6% and I find it works well.

Be careful if you use white vinegar. There is the "real mcCoy" white vinegar distilled from malt or other vinegars and is fine for pickling and then there is the "artificial" white vinegar which is produced from industrial chemicals and is mostly used for cleaning. (In some countries it can't be called "vinegar". I don't know about where you are)
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:51 PM   #6
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5% acidity is generally said to be the minimum when pickling veg, etc., to keep. 7% would be even better although the malt vinegar sold particularly for pickling in the UK (Sarson's) is 6% and I find it works well.

Be careful if you use white vinegar. There is the "real mcCoy" white vinegar distilled from malt or other vinegars and is fine for pickling and then there is the "artificial" white vinegar which is produced from industrial chemicals and is mostly used for cleaning. (In some countries it can't be called "vinegar". I don't know about where you are)
In the United States, the vinegar intended for cleaning is 6% acetic acid, so it's not harmful to eat. Distilled white vinegar intended for food use is sold in the same section of the store as other vinegars, oils and condiments, so it's pretty obvious what to buy. Both - at least the ones from Heinz - are made the same way.

Horticultural vinegar (20-30%) is a different story. I don't believe it's available in grocery stores at all (not counting big-box stores that have a gardening section).
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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I have the 7% pickling vinegar, but was wondering what the difference to the end results would be using 5%.
Thanks for the help regarding the Dill weed. I'm still trying to find a video with someone actually making pickles and breaking off pieces of the dill.
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:23 AM   #8
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Also forgot to ask if there were any tried and true dill pickle recipies on here. The brine recipie I have is 2c. 7% vinegar to 8c. water, 1/2c pickling salt and 1T. Alum. Will this work?? and if not, could you tell me why?? Thanks bunches.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Debora Cadene View Post
I have the 7% pickling vinegar, but was wondering what the difference to the end results would be using 5%.
Thanks for the help regarding the Dill weed. I'm still trying to find a video with someone actually making pickles and breaking off pieces of the dill.
The 7% vinegar will have a stronger flavor. I don't think it will make a difference in how the pickles turn out.

Just cut the heads off below the top of the stem that holds the head.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Debora Cadene View Post
Also forgot to ask if there were any tried and true dill pickle recipies on here. The brine recipie I have is 2c. 7% vinegar to 8c. water, 1/2c pickling salt and 1T. Alum. Will this work?? and if not, could you tell me why?? Thanks bunches.
We recommend using recipes from trusted sources, like the National Center for Home Food Preservation: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/quick_dill_pickles.html
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